Will Tom Brady get any calls about a comeback?

Tom Brady has said he's done playing. Now, he's saying he'd return to play late in the season for a contender.

There's a chance Brady is up to something more than that.

His decision to open the door about a possible return during the 2024 season could prompt one or more teams to call him about a possible return before the season even begins. And that might be his plan, to say just enough about a potential in-season return to get someone to initiate discussions with him now.

If he's willing to play, why wait? Why not look for a spot before rosters become basically set after the draft?

The timing bolsters the idea that this wasn't some accident or coincidence but a deliberate strategy to gauge interest. Look at the teams that still need quarterbacks. Two weeks from now, those needs could be filled with rookie first-rounders.

Current possibilities include, in no particular order, the Patriots, Broncos, Raiders, Commanders, Giants, Vikings, and Seahawks. Assuming he still has his arm (a safe assumption) and that he's in a spot where he can make the full commitment to football season (he'd have to ditch his gig at Fox, to the delight of Greg Olsen), Brady could make things interesting for each of those teams.

It's not just about competing for a Super Bowl. For the teams, it would sell tickets and jerseys and generate plenty of interest.

Two years ago, the Dolphins were trying to lure Brady and Sean Payton to town. Surely, Payton would be interested in bringing Brady to Denver. The Patriots would fill Gillette Stadium every week if he were to return. The Raiders would be better. The Commanders would be credible. The Vikings become potentially intriguing with a pairing of Brady with former New England teammate Kevin O'Connell.

Brady mentioned that his looming purchase of a piece of the Raiders could keep a return from happening. And it definitely would, if/when owners approve a transaction that is stalled in pigskin purgatory. He could just table things until next March and play for another season. Or maybe two.

Brady didn't retire because he lost his skills and abilities. He said after announcing his retirement (technically, his second one) that he still wants to play. He also has said that he doesn't want to be frustrated by the realization that he can do a better job than the players who are currently playing. If he goes through with his commitment to work for Fox, he'll be forced to study and comment on players he'll justifiably regard as inferior to him.

It all comes down to whether anyone calls. He dropped the hint. He now might be pursued. He won't have to be the one making the first move.

So think about it, teams looking for quarterbacks. The greatest quarterback to ever play is in play. He becomes another option to consider, along with whoever you plan on drafting.

If not, Brady becomes squarely in play to potentially flee Fox during the season and grab a helmet. Given his comments, any injury to any quarterback at any time will make Brady the center of attention all over again, especially if the team in question is otherwise in position to qualify for the playoffs and make a deep run.